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Get the zip back into Wheatfield

by jmaloni
Fri, Jun 18th 2010 08:00 pm
by Susan Mikula Campbell

Jack Cindrich came to the Wheatfield Town Board meeting Monday night with a whole list of questions.

The one question that had board members and audience members nodding their heads in agreement was what's being done to get the town its own zip code.

Currently, Wheatfield residents have four different zip codes. Their address can be Niagara Falls (LaSalle), North Tonawanda, Sanborn or Lockport.

Town Councilman Larry Helwig said a zip code for Wheatfield has been a personal crusade of his for years. When his father passed away in 1998, the family received a basket of shriveled flowers days after the funeral. The flowers had been sent to the wrong zip code.

Helwig said not having a zip code in the town causes unnecessary confusion. His own mailing address is in Niagara Falls, but his phone number is a North Tonawanda number, and someone else's home's number and street name (Sunset Drive) is identical in North Tonawanda.

Also speaking in the public portion of the meeting was Gordon Maess of Baer Road, who said someone had told him "there's some kind of cockamamie idea that you can't clear drainage ditches any more."

Maess said he lives with the threat of flooding due to the clogged ditch between his and his neighbor's properties.

Supervisor Bob Cliffe confirmed that the town has to get approval for ditch cleaning from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and apparently the Corps considers plants and mosquitoes as good and the benefit of people as bad.

Town Engineer Timothy Walck said the Corps resists having vegetation cleared out of ditches unless the "wetland" is replaced elsewhere. Some Corps officials are due this week to tour ditches scheduled to be cleaned by the town this summer. Walck said he will ask they go by Maess' house as well.

In other matters:

Town Attorney Robert O'Toole confirmed that the town's lawsuit against former Town Historian Chuck Cederman is under way, papers have been served, and Cederman has 30 days (until early July) to respond.

When Cederman, who was paid $10,000 a year as town historian, was replaced in January, he was asked to return town-owned camera equipment and the photos and records he had collected in his position. The town had given Cederman $5,300 to buy camera equipment and paid for his radio show on LCTV, O'Toole said.

New Historian Walt Bissett said the only thing Cederman turned over to him was a camera that didn't work and about 15 discs, each of which had four to five photos on them, not much to show for 10 years of work.

Helwig said he had attempted to call Cederman about the photos and equipment earlier this year. Cederman told him to contact his attorney and hung up, Helwig said.

Councilman Gil Doucet asked that town officials also check what happened to artifacts donated by Wheatfield residents that were previously shown in a room at the Summit Park Mall. O'Toole said the items may have gone to the Wheatfield Historical Society.

  • Doucet also reported that Church Road residents have asked that a Niagara County Sheriff's deputy be assigned to their street with radar when there is a function at Town Hall or the Community Center. On Election Day, they told him, people were driving 50-60 mph in the 35 mph zone.

The next Town Board meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. June 28.

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